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tv   Journal  PBS  September 4, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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>> the president of the international red cross has launched a mission to syria to seek greater protection for civilians. rubble-held areas are reported to be facing severe food shortages and a number of refugees fleeing the company's is mounting. >> they met with president assad in damascus to seek an end to the situation in the war torn country. >> they met for 45 minutes. he left damascus -- left damascus with a promise of the red cross could operate in damascus as long as the state impartial. >> the meeting in touched on issues related to the protection of the civilian population. during the conduct of hostility, the necessity for immediate access to health care services, to food and other basic necessities that have increased due to the continuing
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fighting. >> the lack of such necessities and the fear of violence are forcing people to flee in their thousands. this amateur footage claims to show clashes in a northern town. rebel forces say they are besieging the government stronghold a few kilometers from the turkish border. turkey has set up refugee camps for some 80,000 people who have fled to its territory alone. the u.n. says the civil war has created 235,000 refugees, almost half of them in the last month. >> while germany's foreign minister has called for a transitional government to be installed in syria, posting a second meeting of the international working group on the country, he called for a common platform of all opposition groups. >> many western countries are placing their hopes in the syrian national council.
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>> the berlin conference is planning for syria after the fall of the assad regime. ahead of the secure -- and of the syrian national council is based in turkey. he does not want to wait until assad has been toppled before laying out his vision of a new series. >> we are wishing the new syria will be secular, democratic, and for every person, for every group. >> however lofty that vision, the german foreign minister knows, there are more pressing issues such as the humanitarian situation. the civil war in syria is spreading. 100,000 people fled the fighting in august. most to turkey, others to jordan. syria possible labor -- syria's neighbors say they are stretched to the limit and others the to help. >> i am not going to allow
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germany taking in some refugees, to help or provide with medical care. but the main focus has to be helping people in the region. >> that means helping syria and the refugees in camps like this one in jordan. germany has provided 22 million euros in aid. >> with bring in our political correspondent who has been following the berlin-syria conference. could you fill us in on the participants and to is backing them? >> when it became clear at the united nations that china and russia were not going to support any resolution condemning president assad, a coalition of approximately 100 nations formed to protest that. the coalition has a number of working groups. in berlin, they're focusing on the economic aspects. >> what is -- what does this
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conference in berlin want to achieve? >> the immediate aim is to secure basic services for the syrian people, particularly in areas that are virtually under the secured control of the opposition forces. the wider aim is much more ambitious. it is to reconstruct the syrian economy in the post-assad era. >> refugees are controversial issue. is germany likely to take in any syrian the refugees? >> the attitude of the german government until now was very much one of being supported by international refugee organizations is that it's better to support and assist refugees in the region. that makes it easier when the conference -- with the conflict is over to repatriate them. but with jordan and turkey stretched to the limits, it is quite possible a number of european union states would accept syrian refugees.
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>> thank you. >> later this half-hour, we will take a closer look at the berlin-syria conference and the various groups there. the repression of the political opposition in bahrain at shows no sign of letting up. a civilian court has upheld prison sentences for 20 opposition figures that play key role in the pro-democracy uprising. after a violent crackdown, the protest leaders were tried in a military court earlier this year with eight of the defendants giving life -- given life prison sentences. >> to the u.s., where the democrats are kicking off their convention today with the first speech by michelle obama, with the aim of breaking a deadlock with republicans. >> republicans are sharpening their attacks on president obama
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after he gave himself an incomplete grade for his management of the u.s. economy in his final rally before accepting the nomination. >> michelle obama is far more popular in the polls than her husband. the first lady is the democrats trump card in the president paused reelection campaign. she is working on the last touches to her speech before the democratic national convention kicks off. voters have cooled to the president and supporters hope she can that obama some much needed sympathy. >> he has been trying to do what he can do. the republicans have been trying to block success, they're blocking everybody's success. >> the important thing is that charlotte shows off its best face and put its best foot forward. >> do it,, do it, let's do it
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again. >> the obama camp knows it is a struggle to repeat his 2008 triumph. now the president has to inspire his followers and win over the voters. >> our correspondent is at the convention center in charlotte. we asked him what the delegates expect from obama. >> 6000 delegates would like to hear a new message, why americans should vote for him. he needs to energize young and minority voters. republicans have and the president obama as anti- business, said he has to show he does understand private-sector and he has a plan to improve the sluggish economy. president obama has to convince wavering middle-class voters, especially women, that he cares for them, so the expectations are high. >> many democratic voters are disappointed with obama. is he convinced he will be
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victorious? >> advisers of president obama say he is aware he might lose this time. but when you talk to the delegates, they are convinced president obama is going to win. they say obama can appeal to undecided voters and that he is a likable person. there is a kind of relaxed atmosphere. the delegates are looking forward to the speeches, especially the speech president obama is going to give on thursday. >> thank you very much. >> onto business news now -- moody's has downgraded the long- term credit outlook for the european union. >> big risks include britain, france and germany and their outlooks have been graded-. >> this comes and of a key meeting of the european central
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bank on thursday. markets are hoping for new measures to deal with the european debt crisis, especially for countries like greece and spain. >> every day, it is the same picture all across spain. people standing in line waiting for a job or some support from the state. the country is groaning under the weight of the deep recession and it doesn't look like things are going to get better anytime soon. unemployment is rampant. even highly qualified people cannot find work. >> these days, a lot of people have degrees. they have studied at universities and have done postgraduate courses, but it's useless. it doesn't get you anywhere. >> almost one out for in the workforce is unemployed. it is one out of two in young people. the spanish government has hinted that country could need a bailout from european stability mechanism, but the decline in economic activity goes beyond
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spain. moody's has downgraded the long- term outlook on the european union to-. that is bad news for companies operating in the bloc that could face higher borrowing costs. >> european shares fell sharply tuesday in reaction to weak u.s. data and the ongoing reaction as to whether consensus can be reached on how to solve the eurozone crisis. we got a summary from frankfurt. >> every minute, the suspense is rising on the markets ahead of the meeting of the ecb council this thursday. but with every minute, the potential for disappointment is rising. when question is what if the european central bank will not manage to come up with a consistent plan which it not only will talk about but buying but sustainable solutions for the eurozone.
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one thing cannot be denied -- crisis has arrived in the german economy. if officials from the german electronic sector and technology sector lower their forecast for 2012. >> we can stay for a closer look on tuesday's number -- finishing at 6932. across the atlantic, in the u.s., the dow jones trading pretty flat at this hour. the euro trading a bit lower. >> some travel chaos today as lufthansa employees expanded their strike action leaving thousands of passengers stranded due to delays and cancellations. the cabin crew is calling for better pay and working conditions. >> 3 @ germany's biggest airports were affected. was the second walkout in a week. the union says of list of the
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management continues to ignore their demands company will ratchet up pressure further with a nationwide 24-hour strike. >> cabin crew were on picket duty outside the munich airport, just once i hit by strike action on tuesday. the union says the vast majority of its members took part and that the chaos for passengers. hundreds of short and medium haul flights were canceled and one in three long haul flights were cut. passengers were caught off guard. >> maybe they will get more money but it is annoying to the passengers. >> on the one hand it is aggravating, but on the other, i can understand what the union is doing. >> the union wants a 5% pay raise for cabin crew had immense lift tons of stop using temporary crew on its flights, but negotiations had a debt and. >> with tons a hasn't been in touch for a week. we have heard nothing. we have been forced to announce
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we're calling an all-out strike of live tons operation on friday. but with plenty of notice so passengers can prepare for it. >> stranded passengers could swap plane tickets for a train trip. ford attorneys inside germany, that is simple. >> all they have to do is inform live tons of line or use the ticket machine or counters to swap plane tickets for rail travel. then they can get on the train straight away. >> passengers on european flights can swap air tickets for train tickets, but that is more complex and can only be done at the train station. >> the famous border crossing check port charlie is about to get a new attraction. >> an artist to started putting up his panorama of everyday life around the berlin wall -- the
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berlin wall. we are going to take a brief break. rarely come back, we will talk about the berlin-syria conference. >> dw on the internet -- transparent structures, wide- ranging services, clean design. quality journalism, 30 languages, a multimedia platform for your global needs. visit us at
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>> thank you for staying with us. >> the syrian opposition may be united on the goal of ousting assad from power but they are divided about how to go about doing it. >> some of the points of contention include intervention by data were gulf state armies and the role of islam. observers say syria could go the way of egypt and libya should assad be toppled and want to see a state centered on islam. here is a look at some of the forces on the syrian national council and their priorities. >> the syrian opponents are
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united by wanting to see assad go, but that's about as far as it goes. they are divided into several groups with a variety of strategies on how to force the president from office. for instance, there is the syrian national council. this group brings together mostly exiled conservative liberal and islamist opponents of the regime. the international community considers the syrian national council to be the main voice of the opposition. it is represented in berlin for a long time that diplomacy and -- back to diplomacy and sanctions, but now it supports tougher measures. >> we are convinced that only foreign military intervention will lead to a quick resolution in syria. >> in contrast, the national coordination committee opposes army intervention. the head of the group of leftist
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parties are active in syria has few supporters. change has to come from within as a it could destabilize the region. she ups protest will force the regime to step down. >> our people should have the opportunity to liberate themselves from the dictatorship. >> than there are local resistance committees. theory are responsible for organizing mostly peaceful demonstrations across syria. the regime has but their protest with the violent suppression. thousands have been killed, objected and tortured. -- killed or abducted. meanwhile, events on the ground are being driven by the military
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grouping calling itself the free syrian army. its leader was a colonel in the syrian air force. he says the free syrian army numbers 100,000 fighters. others say 30,000 is more accurate. for more than a year, this group of army deserters and volunteers has been fighting a guerrilla war accounts to powerful military with mixed success. if it is close to any political group, that appears to be the syrian national council. the opposition seems the united about post-assad iraq. >> after assad false, i think a democratic unpatriotic government will be formed. they will take power on an interim basis and draw up a new constitution. >> once assad has left, national of reconciliation is what counts.
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since he has been stirring up syrians against each other. >> for now, assad does not look like he's leaving any time soon. his military opponents are few and we can is military opponents are divided. -- political opponents are divided. >> the berlin international literature festival is getting underway. authors from around the plant have been coming to the event. >> but there is a political current flowing through this week's events. a chinese writer opened the event on the note of freedom -- he discussed free speech. this -- there are art events with works by chinese dissidents, but one of the highlights is when a double prizewinning author presents a collection of her new problems. we're happy to be joined now by
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the young author from zimbabwe who is presenting some of his works at the festival. welcome. how bad are things right now in zimbabwe? your work deals with everyday life. >> things have improved greatly since the 2008 elections. the currency was scrapped so there is no longer the mass of hyperinflation we used to have. with the coalition government that is their right now, the economy is starting to grow and they are working on a new constitution. but it is still pretty tense until the next round of elections. >> is there any good news to report? >> agricultural production is beginning to grow again. violence has lessened. but what has been happening now is as the whole economy is starting to come alive again. until we have free and fair
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elections and a government that is accountable to the people, it is all pretty tense. >> do you think literature can do something to help move the country forward? >> what literature can do is express a collective history. it captures the moment you won't get in mainstream media. that is important for future generations so they won't repeat the mistakes we have made in the past. but the actual change on the ground, changing the situation, literature cannot do that. >> what about germany and europe? what role can germany specifically play? >> i think solidarity is very important. given our history with colonialism, there is a reluctance to take what we perceive to be orders from the west.
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solidarity, human to human relationships advice will be necessary. germany, because of its important history, is one of those countries that can't say we have experienced some of the thing you have the experience that there is a better way to go. >> thank you very much for your comments. he will be at the berlin literature festival. germany's largest shipbuilding trade fair kick off today in hamburg. green shippings is one of the major focal points. the shipping industry needs to shade -- need to save fuel. >> liquefied natural gas is a greater alternative and is widely used in scandinavia. now german ports are looking into the business which has its dangers. >> helmets and protective clothing are mandatory here. a special tanker is discharging its load of liquefied natural
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gas. at -107 degrees celsius, it is pumped ashore through pipelines. this man has 20 years experience and gas industry. now they hope to offer refueling for ships using liquefied natural gas. the harbor is privately owned and has found a strong partner for this venture, a norwegian utility that operates liquefied natural gas refueling stations in norway. its executives are betting the business will work well in northern germany. the ports managing director is certain to demand for liquefied natural gas is about to jump sharply. >> a lot of the environmental damage caused by conventional refuels is reduced or nonexistent with liquefied natural gas. it is environmentally friendly in comparison and available at an attractive price. the combination of economic
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benefits and environmental benefits will help make it successful. >> but ships running on that require 1/3 extra fuel tank capacity, meaning a loss of valuable space. shipping companies will have to take that into account when calculating cost. a lot of them are not convinced the infrastructure is sufficiently developed. >> shipping company's biggest criticism is the uncertainty. a lot of refueling stations have been promised but we don't know if they're definitely on the way. it is a bit of a chicken and egg problem. we hope it will be coming so we can order the ships, but if this should -- if the stations don't come commie of ships equipped to run on wonderful fuel that doesn't exist. >> a new refueling station is due to go into operation at the same time as stricter environmental regulations come into effect in 2015.
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>> for many young soccer fans growing up to become a professional is a big dream. for up-and-coming young players in developing nations, it is coupled with the hope of escaping a life of poverty. >> that might be the case, but many don't realize professional soccer is ultimately a business and there is a very negative side to that. our next story focuses on some and nigerians in the ukraine hoping to sell and professional contracts, with the conditions there living in are far from glamorous. >> what ever brought these young nigerian players to europe, it is not this. far from play professional outfit, they're kicking a ball around a decrepit campsite. their housing is primitive. nothing has gone right since they arrived in ukraine. but they have not given up hope. this man says they are still
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playing. they be a local 54-mil. all of these players and clubs in nigeria, but the money was poured. football agents promised big contracts to entice them away from home, but only four of the groups, clubs. the others are stuck in limbo. >> they treated the boy is badly. they dumped them here and abandon them. >> the agent -- the agents say they're still looking for clubs for the remaining nine. if they don't get contracts by mid september, the authorities will deport them. >> you are watching "the journal" thank you for joining us. >> back with more news at the top of the hour. stay with us.
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closing the case. chinese authorities decide not to pursue criminal charges against men responsible for an episode involving the japanese flag. police in beijing detained two chinese men who snatched the flag from a car carrying the japanese ambassador. police say they won't pursue criminal charges. political analysts say authorities want to close the case to avoid further diplomatic tension. china central tv r rortedn the


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